Phase 2: Cloth Wipes

>> 4.23.2012

This post is long overdue. If you're just catching up, I have let you all join me on my adventures -- first, as I prepared to cloth diaper Ada. I posted all about the types of diapers we chose and how we were preparing them for use. And after we had been doing it for a while I posted a detailed update with how we wash 'em, dry 'em, and other good stuff. I realize the web -- especially the blog world -- is teeming with resources just like these.

Still, I find it helpful to read a variety of experiences and methods.

Which is how I came across cloth wipes. Up until today, we used various types of disposable wipes at diaper-time. Thing is, I find it super annoying to toss diapers in a wet bag and wipes in a separate trash bin. There's no time with a squirmy baby. So, I had been tossing them all in the wet bag and separating at wash time. I absolutely hate that part of it. And I'm sure you can imagine why.

As well, we've gone through a gazillion of these wipe tubs in Ada's 5 short months. Lots of waste. I read a post recently with the pros and cons of using cloth. Many commenters claimed that cloth is mostly a trend, a sort of keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, and I wholeheartedly disagree. Using reusable diapers has been one of the smartest financial and environmental moves we've made. They are really easy to use and wash. Ada has had ZERO diaper-rash. And the diapers are holding up very well -- we'll certainly be able to use them for at least another child, thereby increasing our savings by A LOT.

These days, those pennies surely add up.

OK. Phase two of our cloth diapering process: CLOTH WIPES. I had the best intentions to make my own cloth wipes using flannel fabric. You guys sent me tutorials and all sorts of information. Weekend after weekend, I thought I'd find the time. But my sewing skills are still quite elementary (OK. My machine isn't threaded and I can't figure out how to do it -- MOM I NEED YOUR HELP SOON!), so I think I was avoiding it.

Finally, we got to our last tub of wipes and I thought "enough is enough!" -- so when we went to Ithaca a couple weeks ago, we stopped by Jillian's Drawers. Otherwise known as the Cloth-Diapering Mecca.

I bought two packs of OsoCozy flannel Wipes -- so 30 in all, which I figure will be good for at least two to two-and-a-half days of cloth diapering. Finding a sweet spot with our regular wash schedule.

Here are some un-doctored photos so you can see them clearly.

The solution above is one I crafted after browsing through a multitude of fantastic homemade wipe washes on The DIY Mommy. There are so many different kinds, it was hard to choose just one type to try. But the limited supplies I had at home -- no fancy essential oils, for example -- made it somewhat easier.

My mix?

Just combine 1 cup water + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon baby wash (California Baby Tea Tree + Lavender, above, or even Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Soap) = Ada's "salad-butt wash"

Since I'm still new at this cloth wipe-thing, I've decided to store the wash in a plastic container and dip the wipes in as needed. Then I wring them out to save the excess. Wipe. And put the wipe inside the dirty diaper, toss in the bin, and toss everything in the wash when it's time.

As with everything, there are a variety of ways people do it, though. You can store the wipes in the solution. Store the solution in a spray bottle and spray when needed. Etc. And if you may notice in our photos, we have a wipe warmer . . . that's never been used. We may eventually choose to keep the wipes and solution in this contraption instead. Seasoned wipers have any tips for doing so?

I'm sure some of you are thinking: "Well, this seems fine for diapers that only have a number 1 inside. What about those nasty poops?" (Yeah. I just typed "poops" onto my blog. Definitely desensitized at this point.) I was wondering the same thing, though. Feared it, even. Wiping when it's relatively clean down there is easy. Thankfully, Ada gave me the opportunity to try the wipes out with a dirty, dirty diaper.

Verdict? It wasn't half bad. I used two wipes and my process was a bit clunky . . . but overall, not much worse than when I've used disposables. But what I'm most looking forward to is tossing everything in the wash instead of picking apart the trash from the reusable.

Overall, I'm really happy using 100% cloth for diaper-time. Ada will be starting solids in the next month or two, so I'm wondering from you more experienced mamas -- besides hooking up that diaper sprayed to our toilet, what can we expect as new challenges with cloth diapering when Ada's poo isn't so friendly anymore? I have a bit of anxiety about it, but we've been rolling with everything so far, I'm sure it will all be OK.

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